Beastie Boys co-founder Adam Yauch died today. He was 47.
Yauch was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 after finding a tumor on his salivary gland. Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Records who signed the Beastie Boys to their first label, released a statement: "One of our heroes, Adam Yauch aka MCA of the Beastie Boys has passed this morning after a long bout with cancer. Our prayers go out to the family of Adam and the entire Beastie Boys crew."
Last month, rumors spread that Yauch's cancer prevented him from attending the group's induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, reports MTV.com. His treatments also effected the group's ability to tour and delayed the release of their latest album, Hot Sauce Committee, Part 2 (2011).
Along with "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Ad Rock" Horowitz, Yauch founded the rap-rock phenom group in 1979. Their first album Licensed to Ill (1986) catapulted them onto the Billboard charts, with hits like "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right to Party," "No Sleep Til Brooklyn," and "Brass Monkey." Their subsequent albums Paul's Boutique, Check Your Head, and Ill Communication further established them as rap royalty.
Besides his Beastie Boys career, Yauch was a practicing Buddhist and a social activist, co-organizing the Tibetan Freedom Concerts in the 90s. He also started a film production company, Oscilloscope Laboratories, in 2002.
Yauch is survived by his wife, Dechen Wangdu, and 14-year-old daughter, Tenzin.
Yauch fought for our right to party. We salute you, MCA:
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